Reston, VA

Editor’s note: This event has been postponed to Sunday due to possible rain.

Local Restonians are planning a “demonstration of solidarity” in Reston tomorrow (Friday) following the killing of George Floyd. Protests have spread to more than 400 localities in the United States as demonstrators seek justice for Floyd and speak out against police brutality.

Floyd, a black man, was killed while he was in police custody on May 25. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested days after a video circulated of him holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes before he died.

The demonstration is organized by Reston Strong, a volunteer-run advocacy group based in Reston.

Organizer Sarah Selvaraj-Dsouza — who spoke in her personal capacity and not as a Reston Association board member — said the event is organized in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“This demonstration is an opportunity for the community to come together to stand up to racism and commit to advocating for racial justice. We are also hopeful that efforts like this one will encourage all Reston residents, especially the most privileged among us, to consider how they can use their resources to affect meaningful change,” she said.

Demonstrators plan to meet at Reston Parkway near the Dulles Toll Road overpass at 7 p.m. Masks are required during what organizers say will be a “socially-distanced and peaceful demonstration.” Although no speeches are planned, participants will hold candles, flashlights, or phone lights to illuminate their path.

Residents can also take part by posting a photo with the hashtag #restonstrongforgeorge or by turning off lights at 9:25 p.m. for a one-minute blackout.

Selvaraj-Dsouza said Friday’s demonstration marks the beginning of other community engagement efforts.

All across our nation, people are coming out to show solidarity and support for the Black Community. Reston, VA is full of citizens who practice compassion, love, empathy for all. And now, we stand up together to say, #BlackLivesMatters. We are telling our friends, our neighbors, our loved ones – they matter, they are important, and they are precious to us.”

In an unrelated car rally by the Fairfax County NAACP yesterday (Thursday) , residents and local elected officials gathered to voice support for the black community and their struggle for justice.

“Justice will not be reached if a community does not stand together,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay.

Photo via Unsplash

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